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  1. February 2011 Visa Bulletin: Frozen in Time

    For over 3.5 million persons waiting in line to become permanent residents of the United States, the February 2011 State Department Visa Bulletin signals yet another month of frustration. The numbers seem to be frozen in time.

    In the family categories, the worldwide visa numbers for the 1st, 2A, 2B and 3rd preferences all failed to advance a single day. For persons in the 4th preference category, the news was much, much worse: the waiting time increased from 9 to 11 years.

    For persons in the already heavily backlogged family categories from the Philippines and Mexico, the advances were minimal, and for those born in the Dominican Republic, at least two of the family categories retrogressed by a number of years.

    The situation was little better in the worldwide employment-based categories where the waits increased in the worldwide EB-3 category (professionals, skilled and unskilled workers). The waits increased in the China and India EB-2 and EB-3 categories and decreased slightly in the heavily backlogged Mexican EB-3 category.

    The following charts tell the story:

    Categories Worldwide Dominican Republic Mexico Philippines
    1st 1-01-05 1-01-05 1-22-93 8-01-94
    2A 1-01-08 1-01-08 4-01-05 1-01-08
    2B 4-15-03 3-01-02 7-01-92 6-01-99
    3rd 1-01-01 1-01-01 11-22-92 10-22-91
    4th 1-01-00 1-01-00 1-01-96 1-15-88

    Categories Worldwide China (PRC) India Mexico Philippines
    1st Current Current Current Current Current
    2nd Current 7-01-06 5-08-06 Current Current
    3rd 4-01-05 1-01-04 2-22-02 7-08-03 4-01-05
    Unskilled 5-01-03 5-01-03 2-22-02 5-01-03 5-01-03
    4th Current Current Current Current Current
    Religious Current Current Current Current Current
    5th Current Current Current Current Current

    Nor is the situation bound to improve anytime soon. The State Department warns of further retrogression in the family-based categories:


    Continued heavy applicant demand for numbers in the Family Fourth preference category has required the retrogression of the Worldwide, China-mainland born, Dominican Republic, and India cut-off date for the month of February.

    It has also been necessary to retrogress the Dominican Republic F2B category for the month of February.

    Further retrogressions cannot be ruled out should demand continue at the current levels for some categories and countries.

    Please Note: Applicants entitled to immigrant status become documentarily qualified at their own initiative and convenience. By no means has every applicant with a priority date earlier than a prevailing cut-off date been processed for final visa action. On the contrary, visa allotments are made only on the basis of the total applicants reported documentarily qualified each month, compared with the amount of available numbers. For example, during the past month, over 17,300 of the applicants who have become documentarily qualified in the Family preference categories have priority dates earlier than the cut-off dates established for January. Demand for visa numbers can fluctuate from one month to another, with the inevitable impact on cut-off dates.

    Following are examples of possible cut-off date actions based on demand:

    Demand with Priority Dates
    Prior to the Current Cut-off
    Next Month's
    Cut-off Date Will
    Remain the same

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    by , 01-15-2011 at 10:12 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    A fat report and one with some helpful recommendations and statistics.
    Here are some of the more interesting items I found -
    - Of the top 150 H-1B employers, 24 were deemed H-1B dependent (a high percentage of workers on the H-1B) and 9 had prior H-1B violations.
    - Real earnings growth for US workers in occupations with proportionately more H-1B workers - particularly IT - was actually much stronger than the general US worker.
    - Engineers and IT professionals on H-1Bs were more than twice as likely as their US counterparts to have advanced degrees.
    - The proportion of new H-1B professionals in the major H-1B occupations remained largely constant over the last ten years except for IT which shrank from 5.1% to 1.4%.
    - "Start-up companies, which some argue are the backbone of innovation in the United States, cannot use the H-1B visa for their employees until their company is fully established."
    - Congress should consider eliminating the preliminary Labor Condition Application filing with the Department of Labor and have employers submit the form together with the I-129 form to USCIS
    - USCIS should allow employers to rank their applciations for visa candidates so that they can hire the best qualified workers for the jobs in highest need
    - USCIS should distribute applications granted under the cap in allotments throughout the year (e.g. quarterly)
    - businesses with a strong track-record of compliance with H-1B regulations should get to use a streamlined application process.

    by , 01-15-2011 at 09:03 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    A new report from the Brookings Institute Center for Technology Innovation argues that US immigration policy should focus on prioritizing high skilled workers rather than family immigration categories. The report calls on Congress to increase H-1B numbers for those completing science, technology, engineering and math programs in the US. It also calls for the digitization of the US immigration process to increase speed and reduce errors. And it calls on Congress to allow visa numbers to fluctuate based on the US unemployment rate and changes in gross domestic product. The last change is one that is really important if we are to de-politicize the process since Congress has a terrible record of reacting to macroeconomic changes far too late to be helpful.

    by , 01-14-2011 at 01:51 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    There are some positive signs over the last few days but I'm not sure I'd be as optimistic as Stewart Lawrence, but he's made some interesting observations.
  5. Jan 14 - Letters This Week

    -----------------IMMIGRATION DAILY FROM ILW.COM------------------

    January 14, 2011,0114.shtm


    1. Comment: Letters This Week - This week we received letters

    from Jerry, Lisa, and Roger Algase. You can read them and comment

    on them here and here.

    Alternatively you can email your letters to

    2. Article: Top Five Marketing Tips for Legal Professionals by

    Larry Bodine,0114-Bodine.shtm

    3. Bloggings: Immigration Employment Compliance And The Health

    Care Industry by Greg Siskind,0114-siskind.shtm

    4. News: USCIS Issues Employment-based I-485 Inventory Pending At

    Service Centers,0114-i485.pdf

    5. News: DHS Issues Notice On Nationals Eligible For H-2A And

    H-2B Nonimmigrant Worker Programs,0114-notice.pdf

    6. Focus: The Physician Immigration Book

    ILW.COM is pleased to announce The Physician Immigration Book

    edited by Robert Aronson. Contributors are: Mary Amundson, Robert

    Aronson, Lisa Atkins, Therese Bart, Janice Bianco, Ingrid Brey,

    Brian Bruner, Elise Bruner, Jacqueline Bucar, Lisa Claypool,

    Kristi Crawford, Karen Dean, Alex Dgebuadze, Robert Divine,

    Goldie Domingue, Maria Fritzinger Elias, Eleanor Fitzpatrick,

    Roberta Freedman, Kristen Harris, Wendy Hess, Dayna Kelly,

    Khorzad Mehta, Jennifer Minear, Bruce Morrison, George Newman,

    Elizabeth Neuwirth, Jennell Prentice, Karen Pollins, Michelle

    Scimecca, Suzanne Seltzer, Carl Shusterman, Greg Siskind, Rita

    Sostrin, Tim Skinner, Sarah Strensrud, Elizabeth Quinn, Hamel

    Vyas, Tracy Wallowicz, David Ware, Nathan Waxman, Andrew Wizner

    and Robert Whitehill

    The book outline is as follows:


    ++Healthigration: Immigration Meets Healthcare Reform by Robert



    ++Physician Workforce Modeling: State of the Workforce by Kristen


    ++Immigration Attorneys & Physician Recruiters: The Essential

    Connection by Tim Skinner & Jennell Prentice

    ++Rural Healthcare & Conrad Waivers by Mary Amundson & Therese



    ++Evolution of J-1 Exchange Visitor Program for Physicians by

    Ingrid Brey

    ++ECFMG Role in Administering the J-1 Physician Program by

    Eleanor Fitzpatrick & Tracy Wallowicz

    ++Legal Issues in Administering an Institution's J-1 Exchange

    Visitor Program by Lisa Claypool

    ++The View from the Inside: institutional Considerations in the

    J-1 Program by Janice Bianco


    ++Intake Analysis and Considerations for the IMG Client by Robert



    ++Overview of the Conrad J-1 waiver Program by Suzanne Seltzer

    ++System of Federal Designations of Medical Underservice by

    Robert Aronson

    ++Other Federal IGA Waiver Programs by Goldie Domingue

    ++J-1 Waivers through the Department of Veterans Affairs by

    Michelle Scimecca

    ++Waivers for Biomedical Researchers through the Department of

    Health and Human Services by Elizabeth Quinn


    ++H-1B overview for International Physicians by George Newman

    ++H-1B Options for Medical Trainees by Rita Sostrin & Alex


    ++H-1B Fulfillment Obligations following INA 214(l) Waivers by

    Khorzad Mehta

    ++Eligibility for H-1B Extensions beyond Six-Years by Robert


    ++Corporate Practice of Medicine and Who is the Employer by

    Jacqueline Bucar & Elizabeth Neuwirth


    ++Alternative Nonimmigrant Visa Options for IMGs by Roberta

    Freedman & Lisa Atkins

    ++Nonimmigrant Visa Options for Canadian Physicians by Carl



    ++Overview: Choosing the Right Option by Jennifer Minear

    ++Comparative Advantages: Labor Certification vs. National

    Interest Waiver by Brian Bruner

    ++Labor Certification Theory and Practice for Physicians by Wendy

    Hess, Karen M. Pollins and Maria P. Fritzinger Elias

    ++Business Necessity for International Physicians by Dayna Kelly

    ++Special Handling Practice and Strategy for Academic Physicians

    by David Ware

    ++National Interest Waiver Overview for Physicians by Kristi


    ++NIW Attestation Letters from the State Departments of Health by

    Elise Bruner

    ++NYSDOT Adjudications: Trends and Blips by Nathan Waxman & Karen



    ++The Legacy of Kutty: Compliance Issues for Employers by Sarah



    ++Legislative Initiatives Impacting Physician Immigration by Greg


    ++Immigration Architecture for the 21st Century by Bruce Morrison

    For more info on The Physician Immigration Book and to order:


    By Fax:

    7. Headline: Republicans seek more Latino outreach

    8. Headline: Chicago DREAMAct? RahmEmanuel Says He Would Pass

    Local Version Of DREAM Act If Elected

    9. Headline: Hispanics Blame Rahm For Illegal Immigrant Ban In


    10. Headline: Immigration bill would cost state $40 million a


    11. Headline: Report criticizes immigration enforcement

    12. Headline: Chancellor links Tucson shootings to immigration

    13. Headline: Boy, 9, has Disney World trip ruined after

    USimmigration rules him a threat

    14. Headline: California GOP's immigration problem

    15. Headline: Sign up for ILW.COM Attorney Yellow Pages. Don't be

    left out!- Get listed at

    16. Headline: Employer's Immigration Compliance Desk Reference

    book will guide employers through the immigration waters get ur

    copy at

    17. Headline: @ilwcom offers every 100th new follower a FREE book

    on immigrants!! valid till supplies last. RT to your friends.

    18. Headline: House may kill Arizona-style immigration bill, Rep.

    Rick Rand says

    19. Headline: RT @rkwences : "My name is Reyna, major is Gender +

    Women Stds. Something you should know about me? I'm

    undocumented." dreamer

    To submit an Article or a news item to Immigration Daily, write

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